The regulation of the formation of the hepatic oestrogen receptor (ER) in adult female rats was studied by assaying steady state levels of ER and ER messenger RNA under different endocrine conditions. Hypophysectomy (HX) drastically reduced ER levels from 67·5 ± 7·9 to 8·4 ± 0·5 (means ± s.e.m.) fmol/mg cytosolic protein. Continuous infusion of growth hormone (GH) to HX animals tripled ER and doubled ER mRNA levels. Treatment with triiodothyronine T3) in a high dose (10 μg/day) doubled ER mRNA levels. The effects of T3 were dose-dependent, since a lower dose (1 μg/day) increased neither ER nor ER mRNA levels. ER mRNA concentrations were increased by GH to 481 ± 44% and by T3 to 372 ± 35% of HX control levels 4 h after single injections of the hormones in HX animals. The glucocorticoid dexamethasone (DEX) alone increased neither ER nor ER mRNA levels in HX animals. DEX and GH in combination increased ER 5-fold and ER mRNA 2-fold compared with control levels in HX animals, whereas DEX and T3 in combination increased neither ER nor ER mRNA levels. Treatment with prolactin affected neither ER nor ER mRNA levels in HX rats.
Insulin-like growth factor I (IGF-I) mRNA and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH) mRNA levels were measured. GAPDH mRNA levels were increased 2·5-fold in HX rats by DEX and T3 in combination and almost 2-fold by DEX and GH in combination. IGF-I mRNA levels in HX rats were increased 4·5-fold by continuous infusion of GH alone, 6-fold by GH and T3 in combination, and 2·5-fold by GH and DEX in combination.
These data indicate that both GH and T3 act directly on the liver to increase ER mRNA levels. GH, the most important of these hormones, also acts at the translational and/or post-translational level to increase ER protein levels. DEX treatment suppresses the stimulatory effects of T3, but not of GH.
Journal of Endocrinology (1994) 142, 285–298